Is this verbiage allowed in The BBQ Pit?

I was wondering if we would be allowed to say things to other Dopers along the lines of:

  1. “The world would be a better place with less people like you in it.”

  2. “I wish that people like you would never have been born.”

I am curious if these run afoul of the “wishing harm” clause.

You are not allowed to say item #1. But if you change “less” to “fewer”, it might be OK. :slight_smile:

What about “I frequently have dreams that you are disfigured horribly in a fiery car crash”?

Yawn. Dopers’ collective creativity with the English language will outrun any possible bright-line rules.

But y’all already know that.

Questions like these are why we have mods who have to rewrite the rule book every other week simply because some people can’t do the simple math required to follow a few rules. For gawds sake people, read the rules and use your friggin’ head when applying those rules to your posts, don’t ask for a pre-approved list of insults.


insults should be like smilies, available with a single click.

I think it’s a good question. And if you think posters here are somehow intuitively in tune with how the mods interpret the rules, then you haven’t been reading this forum very much.

Can we please try to keep the discussion polite and civil? I’m trying to get a clarification of the rules, which is what ATMB is for.


Here’s the problem with that. IF someone has to ask whether something is appropriate, then they obviously recognize that there might be a problem with it. If they recognize that there might be a problem, then the better path is to drop the idea right there, not ask permission to use it.

Do we really want to set a precedent of mods pre-approving insults?

Learning how to insult someone properly in the BBQ Pit, takes a bit of study, and once you’ve studied what you can and cannot say, you’ve got all of these other gray areas, which will also require more study if you want to play it safe. Seems like a huge time waster to even bother.

That’s fine for you.

For the BBQ Pit, that wouldn’t be a bad idea, since it’s the place where you’re SUPPOSED to be able to insult people.

We don’t want to get into hypotheticals or give people instructions on how far they can go. We decide these things on a case by case basis. If you see a post you find objectionable, report it and we’ll take a look.

Why do people have to try so hard to find new ways to insult people?

It’s all about feeling superior, and it’s a fight to stay on top.

Seriously. There’s a finite set of forbidden insults in the Pit: don’t use the few forbidden words/expressions and don’t wish death on other users.

I’m always amused when people appeal to the Administration for special dispensation to violate these rules by invoking some (not very) clever word play.

For fuck’s sake, just tell the other guy to go fuck a cactus or something.

Not really. The purpose of an insult is to make the other person feel bad. You think they’ve done something that is wrong or at least something they should feel bad about. So you insult them to make them feel bad for doing so. You hope this will discourage them from doing that action again in the future.

The problem is, insults that are used often lose their punch. And people who spend a lot of time in areas where people are often insulted grow thicker skins. So insults have to increase in power to have the same effectiveness.

There’s also another way they creep up: you’ve already used a pretty powerful one for a certain situation, and someone else does something worse. Well, you want to use a stronger insult to communicate that your anger is higher.

I also note that, just having a forum designed for insults causes people to become more insulting, so you start with a higher baseline. In the Pit, you don’t generally say “I don’t really like when you do that. Could you please stop?”

No one is trying to one up anyone else. They just want to use an insult that actually has punch, instead of one that will just be ignored. And banned insults are always inherently the most powerful, as you are risking something bad happening to you in order to say them. Those close to but not definitely banned are of course the second most powerful.

Condescension is more often used when wanting to affect superiority. Insults are used to express anger and cause the target of your anger to feel bad. Because, in your angry state, you think they deserve it.

Oh, shut the fuck up, samclem. You once called me an “antisemite” in the BBQ pit with absolutely nothing to back it up with. I haven’t forgotten that.

To the OP: Asking for rules on insults is a bad idea because it’s a part of human interaction and therefore a grey area. You are asking for set rules when there shouldn’t be any except the standard “don’t be a jerk” rule. That’s a grey area, and it should be. “Fuck you” can be said in regards to anything from “you ate the last slice of pizza” to “eating puppies is wrong”.

Insults should be governed not by the mods, but mere common sense. The best ones attack the argument and the poster. The weak ones just attack the poster. It is truly all about intent, which is nigh impossible to make a rule for.

Wow, I didn’t realize that asking for a simple rules clarification would bring on things like being told I am seeking a way to feel superior by a moderator.

I’m so sorry I even asked.

Samclem, I don’t know if you have some issue with me personally or what but your comment was incredibly hurtful. I don’t try, nor do I want to feel superior to anyone. I don’t want to violate or break a rule or get special permission. I just asked for a clarification.

To be honest, this kind of hurts my feelings, especially coming from a moderator.